People’s Republic of Wall Street?

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson raised some eyebrows when he announced his plan for a taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street, most notably because of the clauses that would allow him to spend $700 billion in taxpayer money without any oversight.

While political pundits managed to avoid head-on discussion of the financial crisis for the past 6 months by arguing back and forth on semantics as to whether or not this kind of action (i.e. the Bear Stearns rescue) is a “bailout,” those days are over.  It’s bailout time.

In a nutshell: The Paulson plan proposes to use American taxpayer money to buy distressed mortages in order to prevent a banking collapse.

So: *will Main Street bail out Wall Street?  And, if so: will we all get personalized thank-you notes from Freddie and Fanny?

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